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20 Nov 2023

DARPA Funds Breakthrough Rotating Detonating Engines

DARPA Funds Breakthrough Rotating Detonating Engines

Rotating detonation engines (RDEs) could revolutionize propulsion technology by offering up to 25% greater efficiency than traditional jet engines. This could lead to faster airplanes with longer ranges, as well as smaller, more powerful missiles. Unlike conventional jet engines, which rely on deflagration, RDEs utilize detonation, a more rapid form of combustion, to generate thrust. This results in increased power output and a reduced need for high injection pressures. Additionally, RDEs are less prone to damaging acoustic instabilities, further enhancing their reliability.


  • Rotating detonation engines (RDEs) offer up to 25% improved efficiency over traditional jet engines.
  • RDE-powered airplanes could achieve greater speeds and longer ranges.
  • Smaller RDE-based missiles could match the performance of today's larger missiles.
  • RDEs employ detonation, a more efficient form of combustion, for thrust generation.
  • RDEs require lower injection pressures and are less susceptible to acoustic instabilities.


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